'Pitiful' Ted Cruz just created more problems for his Republican colleagues: columnist

'Pitiful' Ted Cruz just created more problems for his Republican colleagues: columnist
Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas speaking at the 2018 Conservative Political Action Conference in National Harbor, Maryland, Gage Skidmore

On Thursday, writing for MSNBC, Steve Benen outlined why the decision by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) to go after Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) for characterizing the January 6 attack as a "violent insurrection" would cause nothing but headaches for the Republican Party.

Cruz claimed that McConnell was appropriating "politically charged language" from the left, and it was a "serious mistake" to characterize the events of January 6 that way. But, noted Benen, in doing so, he deliberately kept open the intraparty fight McConnell was trying to de-escalate by disavowing the Republican National Committee's use of the words "legitimate political discourse."

"It’s amazing to see Republicans voluntarily extend their intra-party dispute yet another day. The RNC got the ball rolling on Friday, and nearly a week later, leading Republican voices are still going after one another about how best to characterize an attack on their own country’s Capitol," wrote Benen. "Democrats occasionally look for ways to divide their GOP rivals, but it’s unusual to see Republicans choose to divide themselves like this."

The whole thing is even more absurd, noted Benen, because Cruz himself spent months calling January 6 a "terrorist attack," in everything from hearings to Senate floor speeches. Only recently did Cruz change his tune, when Fox News' Tucker Carlson berated him for it on air and he begged for forgiveness for his "dumb" remarks.

"It now appears the senator is still desperate to make amends, no matter how pitiful it makes him appear," concluded Benen. "As MSNBC’s Chris Hayes added on his show last night, 'Today, [Cruz] is, of course, out attacking Mitch McConnell, which is the point of all of this conditioning that those folks are up to — hoping Trump or Tucker’s watching, and will tell him that he’s a good boy.'"

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